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  • It was that moment every dog owner knows will come. I held my old black lab and looked to the vet, hoping against hope he wouldn't say the words.

    "I think you know what you have to do," he said anyway.

    I looked into Boi's eyes and held his gaze, willing him to know that I loved him. I told him he was a good boy and a good friend. Then the light went out.

    Later, when the pain subsided and I could look at his pictures without crying, we went to the animal shelter. I wanted to adopt them all, but we decided on a 9-month-old mix. The shelter had named her "Kisses." Google came to the rescue with the Irish translation.

    Poga is coming along, learning and teaching. She has her own personality, different from Boi, but just as interesting and complex.
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